Freie Universität Graduate Exchange Students

Welcome to Indiana University!

Congratulations on your nomination by Freie Universität Berlin to participate in the graduate student exchange program with Indiana University. In order to be accepted officially to the exchange program, you must first apply to the IU Bloomington campus.

Indiana University Bloomington is the flagship campus of IU’s eight campuses across the state of Indiana. Over 48,000 undergraduate and graduate students attend IU Bloomington—and just over 7,000 are international students.

Indiana University is located in the city of Bloomington. Over 84,000 people call Bloomington home. It combines a small-town atmosphere with the amenities of a much bigger city—international grocery stores, restaurants with cuisine from around the world, and ethnic festivals. It’s also easy to travel to larger cities nearby, such as Indianapolis, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Chicago.

Eligibility to Participate

To participate in the exchange, you must have completed at least one year of coursework at Freie Universität Berlin and meet admissions standards. For more information about the admissions standards, including English proficiency, see:

Admissions for graduate students

Before you start the application, you should review the list of academic programs and identify the one that most closely matches your current program of study. Exchange students from Freie Universität Berlin are restricted to academic programs offered in the College of Arts and Sciences. You will be asked to select this academic program on your application. Requests for admission to other schools on the IU Bloomington campus will not be considered. 

Start the Application for Admission

After you have completed the application for admission, the exchange coordinator for Freie Universität Berlin should send the following supporting documents directly to the Office of International Partnerships

  • IU international application for admission (application form printed from online application system)
  • TOEFL score report (required)
  • Official academic records (originals or certified copies)
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation (in English or translated into English)
  • 300- to 500-word statement of purpose

The Office of International Partnerships will forward your application to the appropriate academic program in the College of Arts and Sciences for review. This process takes several weeks.

Financial Support

Indiana University and Freie Universität Berlin have negotiated specific terms of support for exchange participants. You will receive a fellowship award that covers tuition, mandatory fees, on-campus housing, meal plan or monthly stipend for meals, and health insurance.

You should plan to bring a credit card or traveler’s checks to pay initial expenses when you arrive. Some of these expenses may include:

  • Ground transportation from airport to Bloomington: $25
  • Textbooks and supplies: $350-$500
  • Household and personal items: $150

New and used print copies of books required for courses can be rented or purchased from the IU Bookstore, TIS Bookstore, or other online book sellers. Digital copies of many books can be rented online from services such as Amazon or Barnes and Noble (payment with a credit card is required). You are encouraged to search the IU Libraries to see if digital copies of assigned books are available.

Housing & Meal Plans

On-campus housing

Starting with the 2018-2019 academic year, graduate exchange students from Freie Universität Berlin must live on campus. On-campus housing is available on a first come, first serve basis. You should apply for housing immediately when you receive your IU student identification number. As you review options through IU's Residential Programs and Services, pay attention to those designated for international exchange students. You are encouraged to apply for an apartment, as you would likely find the accommodations are more suitable for graduate students.  

Apply for on-campus housing

Meal plans and stipends

There are two options for meals:

[1] You may sign up for a meal plan that gives you access to on-campus dining options. The cost of the meal plan is covered by Indiana University. 

Learn about meal plans

[2] If you prefer to purchase your own food from a local market and prepare meals in your apartment, you can request a monthly stipend (USD $550) from the Office of International Partnerships. Please note that the stipend is taxable, which means the actual amount you receive from Indiana University will reflect required tax deductions. You may complete the online IU International Tax Questionnaire to determine any eligible tax treaty benefits you might be able to receive.

Request monthly stipend

Students that choose to live off-campus will not receive financial support from Indiana University.

Health Insurance

IU provides you with a general health insurance plan. Coverage is adequate, but not comprehensive. Students may maintain duplicate coverage. Some past recipients have chosen to make separate arrangements, at their own expense, for more extensive health insurance coverage from their home countries. Read more:

Health and insurance resources at IU Bloomington

IU Email Account and Access to Online Resources

After you have been admitted to IU, you should set up your IU email account after you receive your student identification number ("university ID"). Follow the email set-up instructions on the University Information Technology Services website. You will need to provide their last name, date of birth, and university ID number.

With the IU email address and passphrase, you can access IU’s many online resources and services through One.IU and at selected library resources with IU Bloomington Libraries.

Arrival and Orientation

Transportation to Bloomington: You should arrange transportation from the Indianapolis International Airport to the city of Bloomington (approximately 50 miles).

All incoming exchange students are required to attend orientation. At that time, you will complete a document check. You should verify that you have brought all of therequired documentswith you to the United States:

  • Orientation schedule
  • Passport
  • Visa stamp
  • I-94 document
  • All original I-20s or DS-2019s (including documents from previous U.S. schools as well)

Course Registration and Maintaining Visa Status

To stay in status, you must enroll in a full load of classes, at least 8 credit hours, each semester you are studying at IU.

After you have been admitted to IU, you should look at the schedule of classes, searchable by academic department. An academic advisor from the College of Arts and Sciences will help you register for classes prior to your arrival in Bloomington.

Computing Labs and IT Support

Wireless internet (“wifi”) access is available across the majority of the IU Bloomington campus. Read more about connection services.

Computing labs, including many with printing services, are available in multiple locations on the IU Bloomington campus.

University Information Technology Services (UITS) offers many other resources and services, including an option for live chat with a staff member to resolve any issues that arise during the exchange participant's visit.

Other Useful Resources

The Office of International Services on the Bloomington campus has several online resources available to help students prepare for their experience in the United States:

IU Bloomington Resources on Living & Working in the U.S.